Introduction to My Mom

This is my mom. She’s 84, and almost this time last year, she started slurring her words and has difficulty forming and finishing sentences. It’s been so challenging to guide and support her in this time since we don’t know what she wants or needs sometimes. She also has had a persistent and sometimes aggressive cough for the past three years or so. The doctors have said it’s asthma. I believe it’s phlegm buildup and her body has difficulty eliminating it. And now, a new diagnosis: ALS.

This isn’t a full diagnosis since that would take many tests and my dad doesn’t think my mom will be patient enough for all the tests. But it makes sense.. it’s very possible her speech issues are due to ALS. And she sometimes has difficulty swallowing. And there are times her coughs come out in a burst, right as she’s eating, and she will cough, cough and cough. And her face will sometimes be a mixture of fear and distress. And it hurts to see her in those moments. Her body gets warm with these coughing fits. I gently pat her back while she works through whatever she’s working through. I wish she didn’t get these coughing fits.

The doctor prescribed something for the phlegm, but my mom read one of the side effects is Glaucoma and she won’t take it. This is an inhaled medicine, and now the only other options are liquid or pills. Liquids can be fine, but pills are frequently a problem or iffy.

She’s mobile and can take care of herself. She doesn’t talk nearly as much as she used to, which makes spending time with her sad. Eerie. Creepy. Honestly, she used to talk too much before, and now she’s entirely silent. When she does talk we frequently don’t understand what she’s trying to say.

I hope be check in more often with updates, thoughts and feelings about her, since I’ve recently moved from Atlanta into my parent’s basement. I hope I can help my dad with “Mom Duty” as I call it, to give him a break. I have been cooking some for them. And of course, generally visiting.

Book Review: White Rage by Carol Anderson

How do I say this– I feel like such a white brat for buying a book to learn more about systemic racism, but I did. I mean, in times like this.. where all I can do is read/see information about the protests and deeply believing this is a pivotal point in Our History.. I HAD to. Would escaping to Netflix and watching some show about witches, or teenagers learning about life be easier? Oh yes. And I did that for about the first two months of this pandemic, and my liver and brain can’t take it anymore.

I just finished White Rage by Carol Anderson and my brain is blown, my heart hurts and in all my infinite Karen Powers– I feel POWERLESS.

Continue reading “Book Review: White Rage by Carol Anderson”

A Reading for…

So, maybe two weeks ago YouTube suggested a video to me from someone I don’t subscribe to.  It had to do with someone confessing their drug addiction and recovery.. this person seems pretty well known in the YouTube community, and I was RIVETED. Her story was so vulnerable and so honest. It was also so painful to hear what she went through and what she has ahead of her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her for that weekend.. then she’s frequently come into my thoughts during the week. I started following her on IG. In short, I feel a little obsessed with her. And I really really wish her the best. Continue reading “A Reading for…”

The Bike Ride That Changed Me

I came across this old photo of me– this was taken shortly after we had moved to Cairo (my second time living there, at this point). It was taken in front of the Catholic church we attended– it wasn’t far from where we lived– maybe a mile? I somehow had a bike at the time. I loved that bike. What a sense of freedom! I’d ride all over the little suburb we lived in– I’d visit my friends or ride to church while my family drove.

One day, I was riding my bike on the right side of the road, and a man on a bike, crossed from the other side, onto my side. I thought it was weird, but thought, maybe his destination is on this side? Continue reading “The Bike Ride That Changed Me”

Eve Thoughts

Christmas Eve. Already has been a slightly challenging visit with the family. Having to keep my options and reactions in check is ongoing. Our visit here really isn’t that long.

All around the town and in the house, the Christian version of Christmas is strong. And it only reminds me more and more of how far removed I am from that. I have taken such a different path over the past few years and I believe it scares my family that I don’t regularly attend church. I’m sure lots of prayers are said for me.

I drew a card for this post and got the Kings of Blooms, reversed. It is reminding me to check my emotions. This king can be loving, compassionate and caring, but can also be moody and self serving. Try to be generous and patient in these times. People won’t change over night, and that’s okay. Treasure the time together. Merry Christmas everyone. These are tough times, may you find peace.

King of Blooms from the Wooden Tarot.